For everyone on the Spirit of America Field Operations team, the 4th of July has special meaning. All of us are combat veterans, with collectively more than a decade at war and more than a dozen deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention many other hotspots). We joined the military – and we fought – because what America stands for matters to us. We’re proud of our nation and of our service, and we’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.
But that’s not the only reason July 4th is special to us. It’s special because of what the idea of America means to those around the world. We say it because, both in uniform and as we continue to work in the world’s toughest places at Spirit of America, we see how much America’s freedoms and ideals mean with our own eyes.
From Syria and Iraq to West Africa, Ukraine, and Peru, our experience is that people look to America’s core ideals – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – as a source of optimism and hope. They see these values as what they want for themselves and their families, and they see America as the best representation of those aspirations.
It’s a humbling thought and a great responsibility. It should make us all feel proud.
Happy 4th of July.
The Spirit of America Field Team